Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Public Engagement Session to Be Held in Biloxi

(Jackson, Miss.) — The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) will host a public engagement session at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center in Biloxi on February 19.  The meeting begins with an open house at 5:00 p.m. and a public comment session at 6:00 p.m.

The purpose of the session is to receive comments on The Path Forward to Restoring the Gulf Coast, a document released by the Council in January which describes the path to develop an initial Comprehensive Plan. It sets out an integrated approach to Gulf restoration, recognizing that ecosystem restoration is inextricably linked to economic growth and development. The Council is in an early stage of plan development and intends to release a draft plan for public comment this Spring. Public engagement sessions across the Gulf States are part of the Council’s efforts to ensure public input throughout the entire process.

A copy of the document can be viewed at  In addition to the public engagement sessions, comments can be sent by email to

The Council, which was established by the Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Tourism, Opportunities Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act), will help restore the ecosystem and economy of the Gulf Coast region by developing and overseeing implementation of a Comprehensive Plan and carrying out other responsibilities.

The RESTORE Act dedicates 80 percent of any civil and administrative penalties paid under the Clean Water Act by responsible parties in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund for ecosystem restoration, economic recovery, and tourism promotion in the Gulf Coast region.

Officials with MDEQ and participating federal agencies will be available to the media between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.  Time TBD.

Periodically MDEQ will release information on RESTORE Act activities and meetings.  A text group for the public is available by texting “restore” to 601-863-8082.  Information is also posted to MDEQ’s Facebook and Twitter accounts: and!/MDEQ.

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